Saudi Man's 'Gay' Tweets Earn 450 Lashes, Jail Time
BY Thom Senzee
July 24 2014 12:42 PM ET
A reportedly gay 24-year-old man in Saudi Arabia has been sentenced to 450 lashes and three years in jail after that country's so-called religious police set up an undercover operation and arrested him for tweeting allegedly "immoral" photos and allegedly admitting to using Twitter to connect with other gay men, reports Gulf News.
The man's sentence for the crime of "promoting debauchery" came from a court in the Saudi city of Manama, and was for "promoting homosexual contact." The 450 lashes are prescribed for issuance during 15 separate sessions. Penalties in Saudi Arabia for homosexuality include life in prison and even the death penalty.
"This sentence is a horrific reminder of the dangers LGBT people face in Saudi Arabia and the dozens of nations around the world where it's a crime to simply be who you are," said Jason Rahlan, global press secretary of the Human Rights Campaign in a statement.
Gulf News, which cited a local newspaper in Manama as its source for the story, also noted that homosexuality is a crime in all member-nations of the Gulf Cooperation Council, including Oman, Qatar, and Bahrain. Those countries also include other close U.S. allies, such as Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates. Last year, a Kuwaiti health official announced a government plan to implement a "test" that would identify LGBT immigrants, then deny those individuals entry to the GCC member-states.